Wellbeing and happiness levels affect all aspects of an individual’s life. It has an impact on one’s physical health, performance, and even potential for growth. Recognizing its indispensable value, the UAE government considers happiness as a priority and inspires people, institutions, and broader community to cultivate wellbeing (https://www.happy.ae/en). At a University level, positive evidence-based approach to learning, is about promoting initiatives for the wellbeing of students. At, Middlesex Dubai, we are committed to promote a positive and mindful approach to learning in order for our students to transform their fullest potential to success.
In the spirit of building a positive university approach, we have created a Taskforce on Happiness and Wellbeing. It aims to raise emotional awareness, and support, promote, and enhance activities that are connected to students’ overall subjective wellbeing. Previous research, in the field of Psychology has shown that, academic performance of students significantly improves when, universities take proactive initiatives for students’ wellbeing (Seldon & Martin, 2017). Following positive education, the Taskforce, applies principles of positive psychology to curriculums, approach to teaching, and student activities. Up until now, our university’s wellbeing initiatives addressed reducing stress, increasing mindfulness, providing counseling & guidance, creating mental health awareness, being resilient, promoting exercise behavior through 30 x 30 fitness challenge, building self-confidence, having a work-life balance, anti-bullying discussions, expressing gratitude, encouraging help-seeking behavior etc.
Our wellbeing policies are also aligned with our home campus in London (https://www.mdx.ac.uk/student-life/student-support). Upholding those policies, we provide both academic and personal support to our students. For example, the Center for Academic Studies (CAS), at MDX Dubai, provides one on one attention to students who face learning disabilities or health problems, need help with academic writing, or require support with English. In addition, we encourage inclusivity amongst our students, have workshops to address exam anxiety, and keep improving our support by incorporating the feedback we receive from our students.
The aim is to build emotional strength and intellect of students which further helps them in flourishing physically, emotionally, mentally, and academically. Universities could be stressful places for students, however, we equip our students with necessary skills, tools and support, to tackle the stress better. Thus, helping them achieve their fullest potential. In harmony with, Dubai government’s happiness agenda, we are also aiming to measure the impact of our initiatives and sustain happiness for our students’ long-term psychological health.
The Wellness Office employs a cross-departmental approach to wellness, encouraging all staff and students to become involved in any of the key areas. Each year, different staff and students join us in strengthening our wellness offerings.
Mariam is a senior lecturer in IFP Social Science, Psychology, and Criminology, a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee, and a Staff Inclusivity Champion
Dr Tenia Kyriazi
Support and Advocacy Representative
Dr. Kyriazi is the Deputy Director of Academic Operations, Head of Law and Politics, Head of the Teaching and Learning Committee, and an Equality, Diversity, Inclusivity project representative for the Dubai campus
Dr Lynda Hyland
Dr Hyland is a senior lecturer in Psychology, a member of the Research Committee and Student Research Society, and an Academic Integrity Tutor
Wellness Support Groups Facilitator
Aditi is a lecturer in Psychology and Student Council Faculty Mentor